How to Enable Quick Edit Mode in the Command Prompt by Default

You can use the mouse to copy Command Prompt text to the clipboard by enabling the Quick Edit option in Command Prompt shortcut properties. What if you don’t use a desktop shortcut to open Command Prompt, and rather run cmd.exe directly? Here is a registry edit which enables Quick Edit option by default for Command Prompt. This works regardless of the methods you use to open the Command Prompt window.

This article was written for older Windows versions. Quick Edit is enabled by default in latest versions of Windows, such as Windows 10.

Enable Quick Edit by default in Command Prompt

  1. Open a Command Prompt window (cmd.exe)
  2. Bring up the menu by clicking the top left corner
  3. Click Defaults
  4. In the Options tab, place a checkmark near Quick Edit Mode
  5. Click OK.

Using the Registry Editor

  1. Launch regedit.exe and navigate to:
  2. Double-click QuickEdit and set its data to 1
  3. Exit the Registry Editor.

With Quick Edit enabled, you can copy the output from the Command Prompt window using the mouse. To do so, select the text area using the mouse pointer and click the right mouse button or press ENTER.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

2 thoughts on “How to Enable Quick Edit Mode in the Command Prompt by Default”

  1. I am writing a batch-script for users who will find QuickEdit highly helpful, but who cannot be counted on to set properties or edit the Registry.

    To complicate the matter, the script launches a number of CMD windows; they come up with default settings only and it would be impractical — to say the least — to go to the properties menu for each one.

    I could supply a shortcut/icon to run the script, and I could pre-configure it with the desired properties, but I have not found a way to make the newly-launched windows inherit those properties. Likewise when I run the script from a pre-configured CMD window, the properties are not inherited.

    My other alternative would be to include something — like a switch to CMD or START — that would set the QuickEdit option in the line of the batch-script, but so far I haven’t found a way to do that either.

    And, of course, using an alternative shell-language (BASH, CygWin or the like) is not an option.

    Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. I just took a closer look at Ramesh’s article. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed this before; perhaps it was too subtle…

    I was accustomed to selecting the Properties option from either the CMD window or the shortcut icon for launching it. What Ramesh said — and I overlooked — was to select the DEFAULTS option from the CMD window menu.

    Yes, that changes the default for all subsequent CMD windows however they are launched, and without the dangerous microsurgery of using the Registry Editor.

    I’m still not sure whether I can get my users to accept the step of editing the Defaults, but it does have the advantage of only being required once, rather than being needed for every window in the batch, for every run of the script.

    I would still prefer to find a way to have the script make the setting, if that’s possible.

    Also, while I’m at it, to specify the Window Position (a different one for each window launched by the script, and not the ones the System chooses when it automatically positions the windows…). But maybe this is a question for another forum.


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